Feature: Just why do managers hold meetings in doorways?
A recent report from the Institute of Behavioural Therapists has sought to cast light on the question of why people reaching management status feel the need to hold impromptu meetings in doorways and hallways. It is a phenomenon much observed and sworn about by office staff as they attempt to get to the loo or the coffee machine.
‘Upon gaining a junior management position, the individual will tend to cluster close to a doorway along with other junior managers, much like young primates hanging around the scene of a kill,’ said the researcher who led a study of 100 companies. Once they are promoted to full managers with their own office, then the manager will tend to hang one hand off the door frame while talking to other managers in order to establish his or her territory.’
The researchers found that upon gaining middle management status, the manager will tend to hold impromptu meetings in the doorway to the main office thus ensuring that the workers wishing to gain access to the office must show deference to the group by saying ‘Excuse me’ and sliding past in order to actually get some work done.
In interviews conducted for the study someone who only wanted to be identified as ‘Brian Binsley, client resources manager, grade 2′, said: ‘Once you have the arm up on the door frame, then they can smell your manly pheromones and straight away Dave from accounts is on the back foot. I’m not fat,’ he added quickly, ‘it’s just a fuel tank for a sex machine.’
Doreen, a female manager in her mid forties with bad make-up, a cat for a friend, and phallic high heels, said: ‘I particularly like to hold impromptu meetings outside the canteen doors, so everyone is stuck inside. I think it gives me an aggressive edge that shows I’m just as assertive as the men.’ Doreen insists that she remains single through choice, and denied that it was her menopausal hot flushes that forced her to hold meetings in well ventilated corridors.
Once past the heady heights of middle management, executives and directors can give full reign to their instincts and hold meetings of up to 6 people, all clustered in a single busy corridor.
Since participating in the study, Brian has gone on to establish legal history by becoming the first man to be divorced by his wife on the grounds of ‘excessive use of PowerPoint in the marital home’. Doreen, meanwhile, recently left her position after financial irregularities in the office led to an incident with a stapler, a teaspoon and various parts of the HR Director’s anatomy in what has come to be known as the ‘Beverage Kitty Debacle’.
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